Another Spring arrives to welcome translators with the key event of the “linguistic year” organised by The Chartered Institute of Linguists — the first time ever we have an opportunity to attend the two-day CIOL Conference!
Here is my brief report from Day 1 of the Conference.
After a warm welcome by Ann Carlisle, CEO of CIOL, we were given an insightful talk on the importance of quality language provision within the Humanitarian Response sector. Indeed, Translators Without Borders is the organisation that possesses the appropriate expertise and knowledge to draw attention to this hugely undervalued issue.
Thanks to Elly Kemp, who delivered the presentation on behalf of TWB, not only were we made aware of the scale of the negative impact caused by the lack of language provision, but we also benefited from linguistic insights into the range of non-equivalences as well as mismatches in terminology and key concepts between English and respective regional languages. The latter, I found to be fascinating as a professional linguist.
My favourite quote from the talk is “Poverty translates into less access to education and languages”.
Thank you very much, Elly Kemp from Translators Without Borders, for using the power of your insightful talk to draw attention to the insufficiency of language provision in the Humanitarian Response sector.
The rest of the morning comprised a range of six seminars divided into two sessions.
“UK Police Forces and the procurement of language services” was organised and delivered by Ian Fraser from Leicestershire Police.
The presentation focused on the new arrangement for procurement of translation and interpreting service providers within the sector.
We learnt that respective tenders will be awarded by May 2020 and implemented by August of the same year. The promised increase of rates for the interpreters brings hope for a fairer approach in remuneration of language practitioners.
Thank you, Ian Fraser, for sharing with us the new way of recruitment of language professionals as service providers within the Police Forces.
I was fortunate to catch a glimpse of the talk by Jaquelina Guardamagna on development of business strategies for freelance interpreters and translators.
Thank you, Jaquelina, for sharing your professional advice with aspiring freelancers.
Professor Tim Connell delivered a talk on the current challenges and future pathways in the changing world of languages.
The afternoon for me started with an inspiring lecture delivered by Hayley Harris and titled “Revaluing the human contribution to the translation business”. The speaker suggested an alternative way to look at our services.
She believes that prospective clients should consider translators not as overheads but as an added value to the business, which in my opinion is a brilliant perspective!
Her “takeaway” message is for us to see our professional sector as TRANSLATION BUSINESS as opposed to “translation industry” and our service as TRANSLATION PRACTICE as opposed to “translation process”, thus, bringing to the foreground the human quality of translation, which has been neglected due to the high level of the presence of CAT tools.
Thank you, Hayley Harris, for presenting a “human solution” to the problem of cross-lingual communication.
During the Threlford Lecture Dr Bingham Zheng from Durham University shared with the attendees snapshots of the research which he leads with a group of PhD students. The aim of the research is to understand “what is going on in the brain of a translator”, i.e. to attempt to decode the “little black box of the translator’s mind”, referring back to James Holmes who introduced this under-explored concept.
The research focuses on extended cognition and involves experts from neuroscience as well as a team of linguists.
Thank you, Dr Bingham Zheng for revealing to us some fascinating results of your research.
The day is over but the event continues…
I so much look forward to Day 2 and hope to bring back and share with you more knowledge, more insights, more thoughts.
Best wishes from Liudmila Tomanek @Russian Translation World Ltd